Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Celebrate You

Beverly Stanley


This activity reinforces the uniqueness of each student on his/her birthday. The students learn through a pictorial graphing activity about the months of the year. Students write about their special birthday traditions.


The student understands broad categories of time (e.g., past, present, and future: yesterday, today, and tomorrow) and calendar time (days, weeks, months, and years).

The student dictates or writes with pictures or words/letters a narrative about a familiar experience or text.

The student interprets data exhibited in concrete or pictorial graphs.


-Copies of homework assignment about date and place of birth
-Poster map of the United States
-Small colored stars to stick on map
-Blank writing paper or thematic paper for writing activity (one for each student)
-Colored construction paper squares, 3 inches by 3 inches (one for each student) to record each child's name and birth date
-Twelve pieces of colored construction paper, 2 inches by 3 inches, to write the names of the months
-Permanent marker pens
-Crayons for each student
-A pencil for each student
-Sentence strip for graph title, Our Birthdays
-Two pieces of construction paper, 9x12, for book cover, My Special Birthday
-[P.B. Bear's Birthday Party] by Lee Davis, Darling Kindersley, London, 1994, or any age appropriate level book about a birthday celebration
-[We All Live Together By Greg and Steve],Vol. 2, Little House Music, Youngheart Records, 1978, or any song that teaches the months of the year
-Polaroid camera and film


1. Prepare a written homework request for place and date of birth.
2. Send homework sheet on day before activity.
3. Gather books and music for activity.
4. Laminate a poster size map of the United States.
5. Write the names of the months of the year on 12 pieces of construction paper, 2 inches by 3 inches. Laminate for durability.
6. Cut enough squares, 3 inches by 3 inches, for each student in the class. Laminate.
7. Write a title, Our Birthdays, for the graph on a sentence strip. Laminate.
8. Put the graph title and months of the year on a wall that can easily be seen by the students.
9. Make a list of studentsí birthdays, grouped by months, to use as a reference.
10. Gather blank paper for writing activity. You can also use stationary writing paper with a birthday theme, or paper cut in the shape of a cake.
11. Make a cover for the book. Laminate.
12. Gather all other materials listed in materials section.


1. On the day before this activity, assign students to ask parents to help them write down for homework where and when they were born. Explain that we will use this information tomorrow to make a special picture graph.

2. Collect homework. Share information with class in large group time by reading each homework sheet aloud.

3. Use a laminated poster map of the United States and put a star on state where each child was born.

4. Discuss how the day you were born makes you special and is the day you celebrate as your birthday each year. Ask the students how many have already celebrated their birthdays this year. Ask when they will celebrate their birthdays again. Ask how old they are now. How old will they be on their next birthday? This might be a good time to introduce the song -Twinkle, Twinkle,- which is in the extension section.

5. Introduce the song "Months of the Year," by Greg and Steve or any other song, which teaches the months of the year.

6. Write each childís birthdate on a graphing square which already has his/her name written on it.

7. Hand the graphing square to each child. Explain that you will ask them to bring you the square when you call the name.

8. Say each month of the year and call the students whose birthdays occur in that month to bring you their squares. Place the squares on the wall above the name of the month to create a picture graph.

9. Review information gathered by asking each student to stand when you call out the name of the month where you placed his or her name and birth date.

10. Tell students to look at the completed wall graph. Ask students which month has the most squares above it. Count the squares. Which month has the smallest number of squares above it? Count the squares. Are there any months that have no squares above them? Does anyone have the same birthday?

11. Explain that throughout the year when their birthday comes you will take their photograph and put it on the graph in place of their name. By the end of the year we will have a photograph of each student on the graph.

12. Read the story "P.B. Bearís Birthday Party," by Lee Davis, or any book that pertains to birthday celebrations. Discuss how he celebrated his birthday. Who came to his party? What did they eat? What did they do at the party? What gifts did he receive?

13. Share with the class what you like to do on your birthday. Ask some of the students to share what special things they do to celebrate their birthdays.

14. Explain that you will give them a piece of paper. On the paper you want them to draw a picture of something they do to celebrate their birthdays. It can include food, gifts and people. It also needs to include a picture of them.

15. As they are working, circulate around the room and ask them to tell you their birthday, month and day. Write this date on their paper. If they cannot remember, say it out loud for them as you write it. Also, write any other information they would like to dictate to you about their drawing.

16. Return to large group. Have each student share his/her drawing with the class.

17. Collect the drawings and bind into a class book, My Special Birthday, to be placed in the library center.


The student demonstrates understanding that his/her birthday occurs at a specific time each year by dictating to the teacher the month and date of his/her birthday on the writing assignment.

The student recognizes his/her name on the picture graph by standing when the teacher points to his/her birthday month on the graph.

The student explains with pictures about special ways he/she celebrates his/her birthday. The student then dictates this information to the teacher to be included in a class book.

The student exhibits an understanding of time by sharing about past and future birthdays as well as recalling current age and predicting future age.


1. On each childís birthday, take a Polaroid picture and replace name on the graph with actual photograph.
2. Sing the song, "Twinkle, Twinkle," to reinforce concept of past, present and future. Attached file.
3. Read book, [Mary Wore Her Red Dress,] adapted and illustrated by Merle Peek, Clarion Books, New York, 1985, and sing song to reinforce color.
4. Read [The Birthday Cake,] by Joy Cowley, Sunshine Books, The Wright Group, San Diego, California, 1986, to reinforce color words.
5. Read [Arthurís Birthday,] by Marc Brown, Little Brown and Company, Boston, 1989.
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